Legalizing gay marriage wouldn’t affect traditional marriage

There are no good arguments for denying homosexuals the right to a civil (non-religious) marriage. But of all the arguments that opponents make, perhaps the most ridiculous is this: If gays are allowed to marry, heterosexual marriage will be weakened.

How, exactly, does that work?

Despite the utter illogic of the argument, a nationally-known, so-called expert on marriage — David Blankenhorn, founder of the Institute for American Values — testified in California’s Supreme Court yesterday in a case challenging a law that prohibits same-sex marriage.

Opponents of same-sex marriage in California rolled out their star witness Tuesday, an author and advocate who predicted that allowing gays and lesbians to wed would discourage heterosexual marriage and might lead to legalized polygamy.

Extending marital rights to couples who cannot conceive children would change marriage from “a child-based public institution to an adult-centered private institution” and “weaken the role of marriage generally in society,” David Blankenhorn testified at a trial in San Francisco federal court on the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Blankenhorn, the trial’s last scheduled witness, said he believes “leading scholars” share his view that same-sex marriage would weaken heterosexuals’ respect for the institution and accelerate a half-century-old trend of increased cohabitation and rising divorce rates.

But under cross-examination by a lawyer for two same-sex couples, Blankenhorn was unable to cite any supporting statements or evidence for that conclusion from the scholars he relied on for his testimony, though he said he was sure some of them would agree with him.

Though I’m divorced, I’m a fan of the institution of marriage because of the benefits it delivers to those in good ones, including better health and financial security. However, I know perfectly well why marriage has been under pressure in the Western world for decades — reasons that have nothing to do with gay and lesbian couples.

For most of human history, marriage has been an institution that resolves economic problems and property rights — conferring economic benefits to a wife and property heirs to the husband. (And please don’t tell me that God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. If the Bible story is literally true, who did Cain marry?) As any student of ancient history — or the Old Testament — knows perfectly well, the traditional marriage didn’t involve one woman. It involved as many as the man could afford to take care of.

Down through the ages, marriage has evolved as society has evolved. In the Western world, where women can control their reproduction and work at jobs that give them financial security, it has evolved into an institution that couples rely on for mutual support and fulfillment. That’s a high bar, which helps explain why roughly half of marriages end in divorce.

That will not change when gays and lesbians are allowed to marry. They should have that right under the law. No church that opposes gay marriage would be forced to perform one, but churches that do perform gay marriages, like mine, should do so and have them recognized. (Marriage is a civil rite as well as a religious one. Couples get married everyday at courthouses and city halls around the country.)

768 comments Add your comment

uga_b

June 18th, 2010
11:39 am

I don’t accept your assertion on Number 4. Lack of proof to the contrary is not proof of a position. Despite that many gay people do procreate with heterosexual coupling, see Ricky Martin, that does not mean that all children in a gay household will be blood related. While there are many exceptions, most children do best when they are kept in an intact biological family. Yes, I have seen the Blind Side. Thanks for asking.

Gridlock

June 18th, 2010
11:39 am

yes Johnson.. when logic fails, retreat to the scribblings of your invisible sky fairy and the cavemen that wrote them. Such a solid foundation for an argument.

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
11:40 am

johnson you are just afriad of change.

Some People are stupid

June 18th, 2010
11:40 am

I just wish some people would realize that the constitution and the bible are 2 different things. If the bible and the constitution was the same thing….we would be IRAN.

Johnson

June 18th, 2010
11:40 am

The Defense of Marriage Act was written by Bob Barr, GA Republican and SIGNED into law by Clinton. This was after an 85-15 vote in the Senate, and 342-67.

Clinton was not stupid. An OVERWHELMING majority of Congress and the citizens of the USA wanted this passed. That is why he signed it. He had no choice.

Lourdes

June 18th, 2010
11:40 am

Christianity is for cowards!

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
11:41 am

lesbian at birth: good job.

Gridlock

June 18th, 2010
11:41 am

“While there are many exceptions, most children do best when they are kept in an intact biological family. ”

Please explain how biological blood relation has any bearing on proper child rearing. Quantify that specious reasoning.

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
11:41 am

wow johnson did you just go look that up?

tired of it all

June 18th, 2010
11:42 am

Johnson, Thank you. I think I have proven my point. DOMA bans gay marriage.

Woody Mellor

June 18th, 2010
11:42 am

Johnson, you really are special. You used a term culled from Greek mythology (hades) to support your Christian definition of “sin”. You are correct, The Founding Fathers did not mention homosexuality because “it wasn’t their place to ban or legalize it.”

Mark

June 18th, 2010
11:42 am

Johnson, yes, DOMA may have been written by Bob Barr, but today even he doesn’t think it should have passed.

Johnson

June 18th, 2010
11:43 am

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. — Lev.20:13

Some People are stupid

June 18th, 2010
11:43 am

Cause an overwhelming majority of people want something that doesn’t make it right. In the old days the majority thought black people were 3/5 citizens and women shouldn’t vote.

uga_b

June 18th, 2010
11:43 am

And like I said above, I am leary of government incentivizing desired interpersonal behavior, but I do understand as a revenue raising entity, policing entity, and judicial entity they have incentives to do so. Furthermore, as you blur public and private lines with increased regulation, entitlements, and interference, the more personally vested a government becomes in its populace and their behavior.

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
11:44 am

Johnson – Oh puhleeze. If you were so concerned about “sinners,” you would have campaigned to prevent child sex predators from marriage. But heck, no – we can’t have the state get involved with the individual rights of heterosupremacists, no matter what OTHER sins might commit them to “hell.”

Such a ‘religious” con-artist game. We, the heterosupremacists, must be allowed to vote to remove the rights of the gays from the Constitution, but preserve every single individual right for ourselves to sin and still access all the protections and benefits of law for ourselves.

tired of it all

June 18th, 2010
11:44 am

Johnson – Please see my earlier post from Leviticus and discuss how your last comment means anything in the eyes of today’s people.

TGT

June 18th, 2010
11:44 am

Speaking of the health risks of homosexuality: Of course, perhaps the most dangerous aspect of homosexual behavior (whether we are talking about monogamous relationships or not): anal sex.

One researcher referred to it as the “sine qua non of sex for many gay men.” A 1994 survey noted that among gay and bisexual men, 76% of the survey respondents had experienced insertive anal intercourse and 82% receptive. Also, in February of this year, the international AIDS charity AVERT reported on a British study that revealed that about 70% of homosexual men have had anal sex.

Anal intercourse, as Dr. Jeffrey Satinover points out, traumatizes the soft tissues of the rectal lining. “These tissues are meant to accommodate the relatively soft fecal mass…and are nowhere near as sturdy as vaginal tissues. As a consequence, the lining of the rectum is almost always traumatized to some degree by any act of anal intercourse. Even in the absence of major trauma, minor or microscopic tears in the rectal lining allow for immediate contamination and the entry of germs into the bloodstream.” According to the CDC, “The risk of HIV transmission through receptive anal sex is much greater than the risk of transmission via other sexual activities.”

This behavior, combined with the other risky behaviors (promiscuity, drug use, etc.) that are typical among homosexuals, makes for a truly lethal combination.

We never heard much about this when debating the sodomy laws, did we?

Some People are stupid

June 18th, 2010
11:44 am

Johnson-

As Scout pointed out, isn’t that in the OT??
I thought we were under NT living?

Johnson

June 18th, 2010
11:45 am

The law, also known as DOMA, has two effects:

No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) needs to treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state.
The federal government defines marriage as a legal union exclusively between one man and one woman.

Lesbian At Birth

June 18th, 2010
11:45 am

For all you Bible verse quoters, please show me somewhere in the Bible where Jesus condemned anyone? The condemnations in the Bible were by the men of the times, just like today! I am also a follower of the Faith!

no one knows

June 18th, 2010
11:47 am

no one knows

June 18th, 2010
11:48 am

Lesbian At Birth: how old are you

PearlJam

June 18th, 2010
11:48 am

A Marriage is a joining between man (husband) and woman (wife).
Marriage is not about love – some places to people who don’t even know each other get married, arranged by parents.
Some people get married for money, some because they get knocked up and feel it best for kids, other reasons.
Plenty of people love people they are not married to.

I don’t get how gay people think they can marry someone of the same sex when a marriage is between male and female. Not possible.

Marriage laws do not discriminate against gays, they can marry someone of the opposite sex like everyone else does, no law prevents that.

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
11:48 am

Johnson – “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. — Lev.20:13″
——————————————————————————————————————————————
That verse doesn’t say a single thing about intercourse. It was, naturally, the heterosexual man who interpreted it to reflect his own uncontrolled, “instinctive” desires when, apparently, “lieth” with a woman. I suppose con-servatives should ban sleepovers with males, too. . .or pass laws preventing the poor from having more than one male (even a child) from sleeping in the same bed as another male child.

Lesbian At Birth

June 18th, 2010
11:49 am

no one knows: I’m considered a Baby Boomer – which means I’m over the age of 45. You know it’s not proper to ask a woman her age. :-)

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
11:51 am

Wow Pearl Jam – so you are sayin’ the ideal is that gay people should just marry someone of the opposite sex for money, or for property or a green card. . .heck, whateva. . .just to preserve the notion that heterosexual supremacy is far more important than love?

I think you just gave us a good reason why states should revisit and dump all those special rights laws for “marriage” and save the taxpayers a whole lot of money. We shouldn’t have our statutes cluttered with unnecessary laws just to protect the con-artist games of people who marry for money.

no one knows

June 18th, 2010
11:51 am

ha its okay im a women too.

no one knows

June 18th, 2010
11:51 am

Kamchak

June 18th, 2010
11:52 am

Everyone is born straight. However, when you get to the age of accountability, you make a choice to do right or wrong.

Teh stoopid—how it burns!

Oy.

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
11:53 am

evryone is born how they want..wether it be straight bi or gay

Woody Mellor

June 18th, 2010
11:53 am

TGT, I am not an advocate of anal sex, but excessive consumption of alcohol casues far more deaths (liver disease) than anal sex. Ditto, smoking or smokeless tobacco. The same could also be argued for the physical damage caused by auto accidents. The soft tissuse of the human body was not meant to experience the trauma of slamming into a dashboard or flying through a windshield. Should we ban auto travel? And how did you come to know so much on the sexual habits of gay men? I am sure you are aware that anal sex is practiced by heterosexuals as well. Again, the term sodomy orginates from the Bible. As noted by previous poster; let’s distinguish between the Constitution and the Bible. The Constitution concerns personal choice and personal responsibility. The Bible is for people who canot think for themselves, so they defer responsibility to some god or “prophet” who may or may not have lived 2000 – 3000 years ago.

Scout

June 18th, 2010
11:54 am

Lesbian at Birth:

Jesus called the religious rulers of His day “vipers”. Look it up.

tired of it all :

Sorry, but Jesus said “A MAN AND A WOMAN”. “God is not the author of confusion”.

Scout

June 18th, 2010
11:56 am

P.S. to Lesbian at Birth:

“He that believeth in Me is not condemned but he that believeth not is CONDEMNED ALREADY (emphasis added) because he has not believed in the only begotten Son of God.”

Anything else I can show you ?

natalie merritt

June 18th, 2010
11:56 am

there is nothing wrong with being gay!!

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
11:56 am

TGT – I find it fascinating that you are so obsessed with trotting out every right-wing “researcher” you can find who, curiously, always focus their research on imagined male-male intercourse. Yet, you continually fail to compare, for example, the sexual habits of some straight men with, for example, the sexual habits of lesbians.

Essentially, you are making a great argument for prohibiting men, in general, from either marrying at all or supporting the idea that all men (gay or straight) should be encouraged to marry into monogamous relationships. You just casually neglect to talk about the health risks in certain heterosexual practices.

tired of it all

June 18th, 2010
11:56 am

Scout, I love how like all other zealots you are unable to argue your point further once you are questioned. If you ever want to win a debate on this, please learn your scripture well enought to understand when and why each book was written. It will really help or at least open your eyes to the truth of the gospel.

Lesbian At Birth

June 18th, 2010
11:57 am

To Scout: You are correct in that the Bible does say “God is not the author of confusion” and thus I am not confused. I don’t think anyone that is truly gay is confused. I think the people that don’t understand what it means to be gay or how or why a person is gay is confused. :-) :-)

tired of it all

June 18th, 2010
11:58 am

I am quickly noticing that the zealots on the blog shell up when confronted with an open minded person who understands their own religion better than they do.

no one knows

June 18th, 2010
11:59 am

say it proud! lesbian at birth

kevinbgoode

June 18th, 2010
12:00 pm

Scout – so when does a “man” become a “man”…and a “woman” become a “woman?”

PearlJam

June 18th, 2010
12:03 pm

Lesbian At Birth:

Matthew15:16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

Scout

June 18th, 2010
12:03 pm

natalie merritt:

You may be right ……….. but the act is immoral.

Scout

June 18th, 2010
12:03 pm

tired of it all:

I’m ready when you are ……………. go first.

Ronald H. Christ

June 18th, 2010
12:05 pm

peed on dawg, what the hell is the matter with you? fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

Scout

June 18th, 2010
12:05 pm

Lesbian at Birth:

You said Jesus had never condemned anyone.

I gave you the verse.

You didn’t respond.

P.S. and don’t forget the time he made the whip and drove the money changers from the temple …………… kind of a “physical” condemnation.

Rob

June 18th, 2010
12:05 pm

Offering civil unions or domestic partnerships to gays instead of civil marriage is like offering a separate water fountain to African-Americans, as was done before the civil rights era. How demeaning!

Scout

June 18th, 2010
12:06 pm

kevinbgoode:

Maybe never fully. The “act” is what God condemns.

Woody Mellor

June 18th, 2010
12:06 pm

Lesbian at Birth, as a heterosexual male, 0-2 in the marriage box score, I think you are on to something. It is those of us in the heterosexual world who seem to be “confused”. Most of my gay friends are very comfortable in their own skin, and more importantly, do not feel the need to judge the skins of others. For some reason (I don’t know, could it be religion), many heterosexuals feel compelled to comment on the lifestyles and behaviors of others (and by others, I mean those who do not seek the answers to life’s questions in a 2000 year-old book, that was written to document events and personalities who may or may not have existed 200-300 years before this “oral narrative” was put to paper (and very carefully edited).

PearlJam

June 18th, 2010
12:07 pm

Lesbian At Birth:

Matthew 23:25-28 (Jesus talking)Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.